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Acorn Naturalists' collection of quality replicas includes animal track, scat, skull, talon, claw, tooth, fur, egg and leaf replicas, as well as replicas of insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

  Why Replicas?

Naturalists occasionally come across skeletons in the field, and it is not unusual to find bones and other bits of nature on a naturalist’s shelf or in museum and nature center displays. This is quite different from the direct purchase of real body parts, such as skulls, claws, and pelts, a practice that encourages, among other things, unnecessary (and difficult to regulate) killing of animals to supply the demand. This is particularly problematic when predatory species are eliminated from ecosystems for their pelts, skulls or claws.

For the past two decades we have found that for most educational purposes, replicas offer a superior alternative. Replicas offer strength and durability, and do not have any special storage, handling, or permit requirements, and no animals are killed in the process. Toward this end, we are pleased to offer a wide selection of museum-quality, locally hand-crafted replicas along with fur replicas.

In this section you will also find Acorn Naturalists trademark fur and scat replicas, along with other track, fish, leaf, life cycle and animal replicas.

We appreciate your continued support of our replica concept. Your order allows us to continue to support replica artisans and develop high quality resources that are both educationally and ethically sound.

 
  References, Activities and Tools
This section includes skull identification manuals, activity guides, and related educational resources and tools for studying animal anatomy.
 
  Display Cases for Replicas
Acorn Naturalists offers display cases that offer protection for anything you want to preserve. We have museum quality clear rectangular displays as well as glass and plastic-topped Riker-style display cases. Protect and display skull replicas, talon, claw or tooth replicas or dried flowers, seeds, owl pellet bones, gemstones, fossils or any other collectables that you want to display and protect.
 
  Animal Signatures® Displays
Just as we learn to identify the handwriting of others, we can learn to read signatures left by wildlife. Even if one does not see the animals, by recognizing animal clues, it is possible to determine which animals are in the area, and approximately when they were there. This unique set of 6" x 8" glass-topped animal clue displays provide real examples of these signatures, as found on school grounds, backyards, fields, in parks. Samples are ethically collected—for example, our feather clue display uses only naturally shed domestic fowl feathers. Eggs are from infertile domestic fowl. Squirrel cones are collected after squirrels have secured their meal and tossed them aside. Animal Signatures® displays will spark discussion and interest with ages 9-adult.
 
  Kind Fur® Replicas

Over the years, we have received inquiries from individuals who wish to teach children about animal fur diversity, form, and function, but for a variety of reasons, do not wish to purchase real animal fur. Since we do not sell animal pelts or fur, we have looked for a way to fill these requests. We have reviewed swatches of many hundreds of faux furs from different manufacturers, and have selected those that are (1) of the highest quality and (2) come the closest to representing the species listed in the Kind Fur® collection.

Designed mainly to give children the look and feel of furs, these replicas go well with storytelling and discovery table activities. We need to emphasize, however, that these replicas do not have eyes, ears, noses, paws or tails (these are not study skins). They consist of a 9” x 12” square section of replica fur glued to the bottom of an attractive (hand-crafted in the US) wooden box with a protective slide top lid. Perfect for many uses, but please remember that these are replicas, and thus will not match perfectly when set side by side with actual animal hides.

Interestingly enough, however, we have also fielded concerns from individuals who thought some of the replicas were so close that they just had to be real. If that is your concern (with any faux fur), you can always tell faux fur from real fur by looking at the fur backing, which in faux furs is always cloth fabric, not hide. To keep them from unraveling at the edges, our Kind Furs® replicas are glued to the wooden box using non-toxic, water-based glue. Simply moisten a corner and pull it back to see the cloth backing.

As was the case when we started promoting replica skulls 25 years ago, we are aware that these will work perfectly for some applications but not for all situations. As with all Acorn Naturalists' products, these replicas are guaranteed. If they do not meet your needs for any reason, they are returnable.

You can download a complete description of all of the Kind Fur® replicas we offer by clicking here.

 
  ScatCast© Replicas (flexible scat positives).
Acorn Naturalists' trademark ScatCast© replicas are custom arranged and cast from scat samples collected in the field by Acorn Naturalists. Our ScatCast© replicas show every detail found in the original specimen: each is custom cast using tough, natural-looking, non-toxic, flexible vinyl polymers that last for years. Our smaller ScatCast© replicas are arranged and mounted on flexible pads. Larger ones are custom arranged for a realistic look when placed on trails (many naturalists use these replicas to "seed" trails and then discuss "who was here," predator/prey relationships, or food preferences). To keep ScatCast© replicas looking fresh, clean occasionally with any liquid soap.
 
  Scat Displays and Reference Materials
Scat samples provide valuable clues both to the presence of an animal as well as diet preferences. These unique collections of sterilized real scat feature a mix of both invertebrate and vertebrate scats. Each specimen has been carefully freeze-dried and sealed within a 16" X 12" glass-topped exhibit case. Silhouettes of each animal appear alongside the scat sample. Also included in this section are reference materials for identifying scat samples in the field.
 
  Alphabetical Listing of all Skull Replicas
This section contains hundreds of high quality, hand-crafted fish, amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal skull replicas.

In addition to those listed here, we have access to over 500 other skull, talon, and bone replicas - please feel free to inquire.

 
  Fish Skull Replicas
Included in this section are museum quality fish skull replicas.
 
  Fish Replicas and Kits for Fish Printing (Gyotaku)
Fish printing, or Gyotaku, incorporates science (fish diversity, anatomy, ecology), art (create colorful paintings, note cards, displays), math (measure and count fins, proportions, count fin rays), reading (use with stories about aquatic environments) and creative writing (write fact or fiction about the fish prints). All ages and abilities can enjoy creating beautiful, unique, artistic prints. We offer a wide selection of both fresh and saltwater species.
 
  Amphibian Skull Replicas
In this section you will find museum quality amphibian skull replicas.
 
  Reptile Skull Replicas
In this section you will find museum quality reptile skull replicas.
 
  Bird Skull Replicas
This section includes a wide selection of museum quality bird skull replicas.
 
  Bird Talon Replicas
These realistic bird talon replicas show how raptors are able to grasp their prey securely using their talons as hooks.
 
  Bird Egg Replicas, References, Magnets
Each of these life-size replicas is individually handcrafted to resemble eggs as they would be found in nature. Since they are hand-created one at a time, there is some variation, just as occurs in eggs from different regions. These exquisite replicas are used in museum displays and are also perfect for the classroom, nature center, or home. All eggs come with a display stand. For additional data on the bird egg replicas we offer simply click here.
 
  Owls - Activity Guides, Pellets, Charts & Displays
This section includes owl pellet kits, a variety of natural owl pellets and synthetic perfect pellets, activity guides, DVDs, and owl reference guides. Also offered are metal forceps and probes for owl pellet dissections as well as bone sorting and identification charts. Several species of owl skull, egg and talon replicas are also available along with educational displays and posters discussing owl ecology and behavior.
 
  Mammal Skull Replicas
In this section you will find a wide selection of museum quality mammal skull replicas.
 
  Animal Claw Replicas
Collection of life-size animal claw replicas, perfect for demonstrating specialized animal adaptations.
 
  Tooth Replicas, Activities and References
This section includes a wide range of animal tooth replicas, activities and references.
 
  Mammal Track Casts (mounted on plaques)
These life-size, three-dimensional mammal track casts are mounted on plaques and cast to give the tracks a realistic appearance. Each is individually cast and detailed local artisans - perfect for classroom teaching or museum quality displays.
 
  Mammal Track Panels
Acorn Naturalists offers two educational mammal track panels, including a large 36" square panel that provides a perfect tracking teaching tool for classrooms and nature centers.
 
  Animal Track Replicas (flexible positives).
These life-size animal track replicas are individually cast using flexible phthalate-free vinyl. Use for sand tracking games (glue replicas to blocks of wood using vinyl glue and stamp tracks into sand boxes) or bring into the field to compare tracks or make prints. These accurate casts from museum specimens show every skin fold, claw or scale. These are wonderful hands-on tools for teaching anatomy, adaptations, behavior, ecology or tracking skills. Use soapy cleansers to clean occasionally. Turtle and mammal replicas are offered in sets featuring one back and one front foot unless noted as ea, in which case only one foot is included (all birds, some mammals).
 
  Animal Track Replicas (hard positives).
This collection of 25 hard resin, life-size track replicas are rock hard, making them perfect for making imprints in sand tracking boxes or for making animal tracks in wet cement or the PerfectCast® replica compound we offer. By comparison, flexible track replicas we also offer have the "feel" of a real paw and often show more detail (skin folds, pads) than the hard resin replicas. Each of these two track replica types have their own unique uses as hands-on teaching tools. Note: all of the hard track replicas are single replicas; on the mammals mostly hind feet unless otherwise noted.
 
  Track Molds (flexible negatives).
Made from flexible phthalate-free vinyl polymers, these life-size animal track molds can be filled with plaster, clay or PerfectCast, also available from Acorn Naturalists. Use the positive track casts you make as instructional aids, pressing them into moist sand or dirt to create a story (such as coyote tracks chasing rabbit tracks), for ink prints, or to compare with field specimens. Everyone can have fun making tracks—students or campers can take them home or make displays. Clean with occasionally with soapy cleansers. Each mold also features the name of the track and hind (H) or front (F) paw reversed out so that it appears correctly on the positive. Each of the species listed below includes a hind and a front track mold (set), unless designated as ea (birds, some mammals). For additional information on using these replicas, simply click here.
 
  Track Casting Kits and Casting Compounds
Casting tracks in the field can be great fun, all the while improving observational skills. Acorn Naturalists offers an ideal casting compound (Perfect Cast)in convenient easy to use and store plastic tubs for field and classroom use. In this section you will also find Mold-it replica kits, professional mold-making and casting kits.
 
  Small Skull Replica Sets
Use these collections of skull replicas for comparing skull form, function and structure. These detailed skull replicas range in size from 2" to 3" in length. Each skull set comes packaged in its own storage container. For children ages 5-11.
 
  Miniature Animal Models
These high quality, realistic models are perfect for hands-on learning. Included here are invertebrates, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, marine and terrestrial mammals and complete sets within each category.
 
  Leaf Replicas (flexible positives)
Actual imprints of leaves that have been cast in flexible vinyl for use in art projects or as a tool for plant identification. Press with various colors of stamp pads or roll on different colors of block inks to make leaf prints using a brayer. (Note: we also offer a full range of colorful block inks and brayers - simply type "block ink" or "brayer" in the search area at the top of each page). Leaf replicas range in size from 5-9”.
 
  Replica Storage and Display Containers
Included here are replia storage containers as well as a wide variety of products for making your own museum-quality displays. Also in this section are observation supplies for field and classroom use.
 

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